Last week, my sister Desiree, tagged me in a Facebook Post that was created by her friend who works at UCSF. The post was searching for people who can sew in hopes that they could make Homemade FaceMasks for Hospital workers, who are running low on their supply.
Currently, most of the world is on some sort of Shelter In Place or Home Quarantine requirements, due to the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Oddly, this is tale we’ve seen or heard so many times in futuristic, science fiction, or horror films, and novels... Schools and places of worship have shut down, more businesses continue to close, and home goods and groceries are flying off the shelves quicker than they can be re-stocked! For many of us, this is a surreal experience...
Sadly, the shortage of supplies, especially Face Masks for Hospital workers, is all too real.
In intense times as these, it is important that we continue to come together as a community, and do our part to help others when able. As a person who can sew, I decided to help these Front-Line Medical Workers as much as I can, by sewing Fabric N95 Style Facemasks to donate to those in need of them. My sister, Desiree, donated material, and ribbon, and I completed the sewing on 24 Face-Masks as a donation to the hospital at UCSF!
It's hard to believe that just a month ago, Face Masks were something I never would have imagined I would be producing in large quantities today. Just one month ago, I was consulting with one of my clients about creating a custom ball gown, for a now cancelled formal event. I was preparing an upcoming fashion collection for the now cancelled Oakland Fashion Week 2020. I was working Saturdays as an Alteration Specialist for the retailer, The Buckle, which is now temporarily closed... but then I posted a few photos of FaceMask Making... since then, I have received numerous messages, phone calls, and text messages, asking if I make FaceMasks, and if I sell them! The overwhelming need of the community has been keeping my sewing machine running non-stop!
As the past week continued, I have sold many FaceMasks! I have at least a dozen orders prepped and ready to be made as the next few days unfold. Everyday I have received more orders!
Check out a few photos of some of my completed orders:
Do Homemade Face-Masks Work?
Over the past week, I have seen and read many articles and links posted on social media and news pages about the effectiveness of Fabric FaceMasks. Some of these articles will tell you that Fabric Face Masks are at least 50% effective against creating a barrier of germ protection, while other published statistics quote higher or lower effectiveness depending on the material used, and the amount of layers of fabric. Most Fabric Mask Making tutorials, or patterns, recommend use of 100% woven cotton. Other articles encourage everyone to wear FaceMasks, reasoning that wearing them protects others from your germs. If everyone in the community is wearing FaceMasks when conducting "Essential" business out in public, than it could, possibly, drastically reduce the spread of the virus. Regardless of what you might believe regarding the use of FaceMasks, I believe FaceMasks made of fabric is better than nothing. Some counties across the US are now requiring the use of FaceMasks when out in public.
I follow many fellow Fashion Designers and creators on all the social media platforms... over the past week my newsfeed is post after post of photos and videos of everyone who can sew creating FaceMasks of various styles. It is amazing! I love that we have many talented and skilled persons who can sew right here in the US! I also love the support of the community in shopping from their local FaceMask Maker!
In addition to the individual Mask Makers, there have been some big names who have began producing FaceMasks, such as Fashion Designer, Christian Siriano, as well as Nordstrom! How inspiring!
Although these times are unexpected and kinda crazy, I strongly feel that this is the beginning of a new Zeitgeist: bringing Production back to the The United States!
If you are interested in joining the Sewing Production of FaceMasks too, You can Download this Free PDF Pattern for a Fabric N-95 Type Face-Mask HERE. HERE are the Pattern Sewing Instructions.
If you would rather donate material to be sewn into FaceMasks, I am accepting donations of fabric, ribbon, or elastic, and thread. All donated materials will be used to sew donated masks that will be given to our front line workers locally. You can contact me many ways, so check my Contact Page, and send me a message in whichever way is most convenient to you!
Sewing and Shipping
Each day I am working to finish my FaceMasks Orders, and am completing them in the order received. I am trying to get them out as quickly as possible, but because I am only one person, my production is limited. Every day, I am sending out the orders finished the day before. It has been crazy how many orders I have shipped out or delivered in just one week! I expect that in the following weeks I may even see a surge in orders, as more people need them.
I wanted to write this Blog Post as a continual series of articles documenting my FaceMask Making Memoirs! I expect that FaceMask Making will continue to be needed in the upcoming weeks or even months ahead, and this platform is a great way for me to combine my photos and experiences together for your reading pleasure!
I appreciate all of your support! Whether you have purchased a FaceMask from me, or just shared a FaceMask Making Post that I have published, you all give me the energy I need to keep on keeping on! If you need me, I will be right here, at my sewing machine!
Thank you all for your support in my Face-Mask Production!
Thank You for reading my Blog!
4/12/2020 07:52:26 pm
It’s so wonderful how challenging moments in life bring out the beautiful facets of human kind. I am very proud of you Roxanne, you have been blessed, and your kindness, love and compassion resonates throughout this blog.
4/13/2020 10:02:29 am
Great story great idea' thank you for helping for the safety of others
4/14/2020 12:17:07 am
Hi Roxanne, I got a chuckle. I’m also making them and have been sewing non stop for at least 2 weeks or maybe more. I even had to get help from some friends that sew. Anyway just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone. Hang in there. We are modern day rosie riveters!
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Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!